EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS

Frequently Asked Questions about Emergency Pills

  • 1

    What is an Emergency Contraceptive Pill eg. POSTPILL?

    POSTPILL is a medicine used to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex. It is called an Emergency contraceptive Pill (EC) because it is the last chance you have to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex. Common situations in which POSTPILL could be used include forgetting to take several pills of LEVOFEM in a row, having a condom break or slip off, or not using a birth control method during sex. It also can be used after a woman has been raped.

  • 2

    How does it work?

    POSTILL prevents pregnancy from occurring by delaying ovulation (the release of the woman’s egg). If no egg is released, fertilization by the released sperm will not occur. This pill is most effective when taken within 12 hours of unprotected sex but it may be slightly effective up to 120 hours (5 days), so the earlier the better

  • 3

    What are the possible side effects of taking POSTPILL?

    POSTPILL does not cause any serious complications. Some women may experience side effects while others will not. Common side effects to expect include menstrual changes such as your period coming 1 week late or early, headache, nausea or vomiting, abdominal discomfort and fatigue. These side effects are temporary and may be gone in a day or two. If you vomit within two hours of taking POSTPILL, you will need to take another pill but take it after a meal to avoid vomiting again. Also take paracetamol if you have a headache or any abdominal discomfort.

  • 4

    What are the possible side effects of taking POSTPILL?

    POSTPILL does not cause any serious complications. Some women may experience side effects while others will not. Common side effects to expect include menstrual changes such as your period coming 1 week late or early, headache, nausea or vomiting, abdominal discomfort and fatigue. These side effects are temporary and may be gone in a day or two. If you vomit within two hours of taking POSTPILL, you will need to take another pill but take it after a meal to avoid vomiting again. Also take paracetamol if you have a headache or any abdominal discomfort.

  • 5

    When should you expect your period after taking Postpill?

    Your next period may occur at the expected time or come one week after.

  • 6

    How can you get it as soon as possible?

    POSTPILL is easily available over the counter in pharmacies, chemist stores. You can also find it in the family planning section of clinics, hospitals and maternity homes. It’s recommended you can get POSTPILL ahead of time so that you can always use it quickly if needed.

  • 7

    Can you still get pregnant after using Pospill?

    The “After sex pill” doesn’t give anyone a free pass to have unprotected sex after taking it. Having unprotected sex in the days or weeks after taking POSTPILL can still result in pregnancy, so it’s best to hold off on sexy times until you secure a reliable method of contraception. You do not have to take POSTPILL the second the sun rises after having unprotected sex but the sooner it is taken the better POSTPILL’s effectiveness depends largely on how quickly it’s taken. It should be taken within 12 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) after having unprotected sex. It is therefore SMART to take it ASAP.

  • 8

    Is there anything that decreases the effectiveness of POSTPILL?

    Being overweight or obese may decrease the effectiveness of POSTPILL. If you are overweight or obese, you may want to consider having a LYDIA IUD inserted. LYDIA IUDs are effective in women of any weight.

  • 9

    Do you need follow-up care after using it?

    You do not need any follow-up care or tests or after taking POSTPILL. You should have a pregnancy test if you have not had your period within a week of when you expect it. Be aware that POSTPILL will not harm a pregnancy or the health of the baby if you are already pregnant. Keep in mind that POSTPILL does not prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV (AIDS). For prevention against STIs and HIV (AIDS), use condoms. If you are at risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection and have had unprotected sex, see your gynecologist or other health care professional.

  • 10

    Can it be used for abortion?

    POSTPILL will not cause an abortion. An abortion medicine terminates an existing pregnancy. POSTPILL must be used soon after unprotected sexual intercourse for it to be effective as it will not prevent, stop or harm the foetus if pregnancy has already occurred.